WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement calling for airstrikes on ISIL’s heavy weapons in Northern Syria:

“With more than 100,000 refugees fleeing from ISIL’s assault near the town of Kobani in Northern Syria, it is clear that this situation demands more involvement by the international community. I believe that now is the time for targeted American airstrikes on ISIL tanks, artillery pieces and other heavy weapons to help save the lives of thousands of Syrian Kurds and prevent a potential massacre.

“I note the Turkish role in assisting the massive new influx of refugees. Yet, the threat that ISIL poses will only metastasize should we treat this crisis as a purely humanitarian one. ISIL represents a clear threat to Turkey and regional security. Now that the Turkish hostages have been released, Turkey needs to play a more active role in stopping ISIL’s advances.”